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Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements can help provide for family

Generally, when we think of planning for our family's future in the event of our death, we think of using the tools available through estate planning. Although an estate plan is something everyone should have, it is also important to note the important role a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement can play in an estate plan. The Wall Street Journal recently addressed this topic, noting that these legal documents can be particularly important for those with business interests.

The example used in the article involved a man with a business valued in the millions. When he became engaged he decided to have his soon to be wife sign a prenuptial agreement that protected his business in the event of a divorce. Years later, the man's marriage was fruitful and he now had concerns about providing for his family. His prenuptial agreement had, in effect, protected his business at the expense of his family. After seeking legal counsel, he was able to ensure that the agreement worked to protect the business from a divorce but still provide for his family if he were to die.

This story highlights the many uses of prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. In addition to sheltering assets in the event of a divorce, these documents can also provide for loved ones, particularly if children are present from previous relationships. It also provides an example of the importance of having experienced legal counsel draft the document, to help better ensure your wishes are accurately reflected.

Structuring these documents can be difficult and takes a good deal of time, as they must generally account for all assets and the other individual must have enough time to properly review the agreement prior to signing. A prenuptial and postnuptial agreement lawyer can help guide you through the process, better ensuring your interests are protected.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, "Creating an Estate Plan Around a Prenup," Alex Coppola, July 11, 2014

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